You Know You’ve Read Too Much T. S. Eliot When…

T. S. Eliot.  You can’t deny that this brilliant, albeit intellectually snobby, banker was one of the greatest poets in the English language and of the 20th century.  But you gotta’ admit.  Getting into Eliot can drive you to the point of insanity.  And once you’ve passed that point–once you discover the structure to The Waste Land, or the underlying metaphor in “Sweeney Among the Nightingales,” or the fact that Eliot’s poetry explores meaninglessness over and over and over again–you realize this reserved Anglo-American writer is quite fascinating.  However, you will quickly recognize too much Eliot is definitely too much of a good thing.  Here are a few warning signs you’ve been spending too much time with T. S. Eliot.

1.  You start over-quoting The Tempest.
2.  You can’t leave Starbucks without pausing to solemnly say, “I have measured out my life in coffee spoons.”
3.  You find your first grey hair and decide to wear your trousers rolled.
4.  You realize you can compare people to all sorts of unflattering animals in wildly poetic diction.
5.  You feel compelled to make all your written communication reflect musical structures.
6.  Rain becomes a BIG deal at all times of day, month, and year.
7.  You start taking sides over the possible optimistic/pessimistic end of The Waste Land:  Team Thunder and Team Sosostris.
8.  You immediately respond to mobs of people with “I had not thought death had undone so many” and realize you’re also overquoting Dante.
9.  You start dreaming scenes from Dante’s The Divine Comedy set in 1920s England.
10.  You spend every second of the interminably long Hamlet directed by Olivier criticizing Hamlet for his indecision.
11.  You find yourself writing about fragmentation in all your other college courses.
12.  When running late, you tell your family, “HURRY UP, PLEASE.  IT’S TIME.”
13.  You obsess over hair.
14.  Sirius becomes your favorite constellation
15.  You find yourself humming “O. o. o.  That’s Shakespeherian Rag.”

Happy poetry reading.

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. thelostkerryman
    May 16, 2012 @ 03:00:46

    …you speak and write in so many allusions that people look at you like… “you crazy, man!”


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